Curriculum Politics in Higher Education: What Educators need to do to Survive

Stephen Joseph


Higher education institutions are increasingly experiencing pressure regarding their expected role in addressing
immediate and long-term sustainable development challenges. Decisions about what should be taught are heavily
influenced by socio-political needs and aspirations. The push towards entrepreneurship education is, perhaps, one
example where some governments expect higher education institutions to encourage entrepreneurial development
and awareness among students of the institutions. Indeed, political action has become a well-known force in
education systems throughout the world. Utilizing a conceptual approach, this paper examines the theory and
practice of curriculum politics in the Trinidad and Tobago higher education sector. It also explores various ways in
which educators can survive the perceived threat of political interference in curriculum decision making.
Notwithstanding the role of politics in curriculum decision making, the paper supports the view that unrestrained
political intervention from non-education sources may threaten the quality of higher education programmes. As such,
educators must come to terms with the reality of curriculum politics and find ways to function optimally in any given
political context.

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International Journal of Higher Education
ISSN 1927-6044 (Print) ISSN 1927-6052 (Online) Email:

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